Stan Okoye

Stanley Onyekachukwu Okoye (born April 10, 1991) is a Nigerian-American professional basketball player for Herbalife Gran Canaria of the Liga ACB. A 6'6" swingman, he was named the 2012–13 Big South Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year while playing for Virginia Military Institute (VMI).[1]

Stan Okoye
Stan Okoye.jpg
Okoye in 2014
No. 5 – Herbalife Gran Canaria
PositionSmall forward / Shooting guard
LeagueLiga ACB
Personal information
Born (1991-04-10) April 10, 1991 (age 29)
Raleigh, North Carolina
NationalityAmerican / Nigerian
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High schoolKnightdale
(Knightdale, North Carolina)
CollegeVMI (2009–2013)
NBA draft2013 / Undrafted
Playing career2013–present
Career history
2013Barak Netanya
2014Perth Redbacks
2014–2015Varese
2015–2016Matera
2016Trapani
2016–2017Udinese
2017–2018Varese
2018–2019Zaragoza
2019–presentGran Canaria
Career highlights and awards

High school careerEdit

Okoye, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, attended Knightdale High School from 2005–06 through 2008–09. During his four-year varsity career he scored over 1,300 points and grabbed over 550 rebounds, both of which are school records.[2] Okoye also scored a single game record 42 points during a Class 4A playoff game.[2] Knightdale won 73 games during his tenure.[2] Despite this production on the court, only two NCAA Division I schools offered him basketball scholarships – Campbell University and VMI.[2] Campbell later rescinded their offer, however, leaving Okoye with VMI as his only Division I opportunity, which he then accepted.[2]

College careerEdit

Okoye enrolled in fall 2009 at VMI to play for the Keydets. He had initial struggles coping with college life, especially at a military school where upperclassmen put mental and physical pressures on freshmen.[1] At one point he contemplated dropping out before having played in a single college basketball game, but Okoye stuck with it because of support from his teammates.[1] He said, "I stuck it out because of the other guys. I figured if they could take it, I could too."[1]

In 2009–10, Okoye led all Big South Conference freshmen in scoring and field goal percentage in overall games.[3] In conference games, he led all freshmen in scoring, field goal percentage and blocks.[3] For the season he averaged 14.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game and was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team.[3][4]

As a sophomore in 2010–11, Okoye improved his averages in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game.[4] His blocks per game dipped slightly from his freshman season, however.[4] Okoye finished his second year with 933 career points.[4] Okoye followed a sophomore year with a junior season that saw him claim a Second Team All-Conference selection.[3] In Big South games he averaged 19.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, which were second and fourth, respectively, within the league.[3] He led the Keydets to the Big South Tournament championship game, but they lost to UNC Asheville 80 to 64.

Okoye had a breakout senior season in 2012–13 in which he averaged 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.[4] He was named the preseason conference player of the year, an honor he would then garner at the conclusion of the season as well.[3][1] His scoring and rebounding averages led the Big South and was named its Player of the Week five times throughout the season.[5] VMI lost to Charleston Southern in the conference tournament, thus ending VMI's hopes of a postseason tournament bid. Okoye finished his collegiate career with 2,146 points, 962 rebounds, 212 assists, 152 steals and 103 blocks.[4]

Professional careerEdit

On August 13, 2013, Okoye signed with Ikaros for the 2013–14 Greek Basket League season.[6] He left Ikaros before playing in a game for them, and on October 27, 2013, he signed with Barak Netanya of Israel for the rest of the season.[7] In November 2013, he left Netanya after appearing in just four games.

On February 6, 2014, Okoye signed with the Perth Redbacks for the 2014 State Basketball League season.[8] He made his debut for the Redbacks in the team's season opener on March 14, recording 30 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in a 96–93 win over the Rockingham Flames.[9] On May 15, he was named the SBL Player of the Week for Round 9.[10] He appeared in all 30 games for the Redbacks in 2014, averaging 28.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.[11]

On August 16, 2014, Okoye signed with Pallacanestro Varese for the 2014–15 Lega Basket Serie A season.[12] In 23 games for Varese, he averaged 5.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. On August 17, 2015, Okoye signed with Bawer Matera of the Serie A2 Basket.[13] In February 2016, he left Matera and signed with Pallacanestro Trapani for the rest of the season.[14] On May 27, 2017, Okoye signed with his former club Pallacanestro Varese.[15]

In July 2018, Okoye played for the Denver Nuggets during the 2018 NBA Summer League.[16] On July 28, Okoye signed a one-year deal with Tecnyconta Zaragoza of the Liga ACB.[17] On July 31, 2019, Okoye signed a one-year deal with Herbalife Gran Canaria.[18] He averaged 6.8 points per game. Okoye re-signed with the team on July 18, 2020.[19]

National team careerEdit

Okoye has been a member of the senior men's Nigeria national basketball team, representing them at the 2013 and 2015 AfroBasket.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Stevens, Tim (March 7, 2013). "Knightdale's Stan Okoye wins Big South player of the year". NewsObserver.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moody, Aaron (March 9, 2013). "Column: Stan Okoye peaks, for now". Eastern Wake News. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "#11 Stan Okoye". vmikeydets.com. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Stan Okoye Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "Okoye Named All-State; Will Play in PIT". vmikeydets.com. April 9, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Ikaros Halkidas sign Stan Okoye". Sportando.com. August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  7. ^ "Barak Netanya signs Stan Okoye". Sportando.com. October 27, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "Redbacks Sign Okoye for 2014". FoxSportsPulse.com. February 6, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Early statements made (Week 1 Men's SBL Wrap)". FoxSportsPulse.com. March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Kickz101 Perth SBL Players of the Week". FoxSportsPulse.com. May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "Player statistics for Stanley Okoye". FoxSportsPulse.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "Stan Okoye moves to Pallacanestro Varese". Sportando.com. August 16, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Bawer Matera signs Stan Okoye
  14. ^ Welcome Stanley Okoye! (in Italian)
  15. ^ Stan Okoye returns to Varese
  16. ^ "Ojeleye, Okoye, Gbinije for NBA Summer League | BWB". basketballwithinborders.com. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  17. ^ "Stan Okoye signs with Tecnyconta Zaragoza". Sportando. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  18. ^ "CB Gran Canaria signs Stan Okoye". Sportando. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Stan Okoye re-signs with Gran Canaria". Sportando. July 18, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.

External linksEdit